Smarty Pup: Friends Fur-ever
A & U Children’s, 2022
160pp., pbk., RRP $A15.99
Life is a little ordinary for Lily right now, particularly as she has lost her mum, but things change when her Dad decides they could be a family of three again by getting a dog – something both Lily and her mum had wanted for ages.
At the animal shelter, Lily chooses JJ, who kind of clumsy, but something about his smiley face makes her really happy inside. They change even more when Lily discovers that JJ can talk and is actually super smart. He can speak a number of languages, and knows the answers to maths and geography questions. This could be the answer to her constant dilemma about having something interesting for show-and -tell, but then things get complicated. It’s one thing to be the centre of attention for a few minutes, another to be accused of something you didn’t do.
Anh Do is one of Australia’s most popular and prolific authors, and this new series is somewhat of a cross between a picture book and a novel. Told by Lily herself , highly illustrated in colour with conversations in speech bubbles and different fonts, it is an ideal stepping stone between basal, instructional readers and the novels newly independent readers are aspiring to. The story is grounded in the familiar situation of what to share for Show and Tell, and the characters are relatable, although of course there is the usual Anh Do twist. Reading a popular author loved by older peers and siblings is an added bonus!
A new series that will have a lot of fans and followers.